Wednesday, May 9, 2012
LIGHTNING MEDICINE CLOUD
A central myth of the Plains Indian tribes tells the story of a very beautiful woman in shining white buckskin that entered camp and presented the people with a bundled sacred pipe. She told them to offer it to the four directions and that its smoke symbolizes an exchange between humanity and the spirit world. Then, as the beautiful woman walked away from the camp, she morphed into a white buffalo and disappeared. Over time White Buffalo Woman has become identified with the Greek goddess Athena and later, with the introduction of Christianity, the Virgin Mary.
Only one in ten million buffalo are born white, giving rise to the belief that they symbolize big medicine and are a sign of a harmonious world. One year ago on May 12, a rare non-albino white buffalo calf was born on a stormy night at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, Texas and named Lightning Medicine Cloud. He was immediately seen by Native Americans as a spiritual blessing from God for all nations. They reveled in its appearance into today’s broken world with all the hope of a prophetic new beginning of life’s sacred hoop that it symbolized. On April 3, the calf’s father was struck and killed by lightning during a severe Texas spring storm. Last week, the young calf was found killed and skinned and the mother, ironically named Buffalo Woman, poisoned while the caretaker was away. The bloodline that created the sacred hope is also now destroyed.
The attack has shaken the community to its core. But what of the greater significance of this travesty to the world in general? I’m not so sure the brutal act on such a sacred symbol of hope would have been any greater if those responsible heart-hardened people had left the innocent skinned bloody carcass of the young calf on a windblown barbed wire cross. Perhaps the legacy of Lightning Medicine Cloud is that symbols of hope are now beginning to appear in this world with increasing frequency to those who look for them-- like weeping statues, bleeding icons and the visions of heaven many humans have most recently reported in an increasing number of near death experiences. And they may ultimately be revealed as the “canary in a coal mine” messengers trumpeting the onset of humanity’s final restoration.